The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired goalie Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. They sent forward Trevor Moore and some draft picks to California in the swap.
Los Angeles will receive Toronto’s third-round draft pick for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, plus a conditional draft pick for 2021. The Kings are retaining half of Clifford’s salary as part of the deal.
Campbell is the big piece here. The 28-year-old was drafted 11th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and spent most of his team with their AHL affiliate Texas Stars and the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads. Eventually, Dallas traded Campbell to the Kings for defenceman Nick Ebert.
In July of 2016, Campbell signed a two-year two-way contract with Los Angeles. In November of the following year, he signed an extension. His first NHL win came in February of 2018, a 4-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.
A knee injury took Campbell out of action for a significant period of time just as his NHL career was getting underway, but the Kings held fast and signed him to yet another extension in September of 2019.
The trade makes sense for the Kings, who have a goalie logjam with Jonathan Quick improving his play.
And it makes sense for the Maple Leafs, who really get two decent players in this deal for minimal money. Campbell has a cap hit of $675,000 for the rest of this season, although it bumps up to $1.65 million average annual value for the next two years.
Campbell is still a work in progress, but that’s okay given the situation in Toronto’s crease. He’s not proven at the NHL level, but the dollar amount is fine.
Clifford was averaging about a dozen minutes a night for the Kings and is the epitome of a third or fourth liner. He’s also a two-time Stanley Cup champion, so there’s that.
Toronto did well with this deal, in my view. It’s not a significant swap, but it should fill in some gaps and get the Maple Leafs where they need to go. For a low-risk, high-yield trade, this was a good move.
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